Are you a lover or hater of running?
It’s a funny thing. Some people love it, some people hate it. When I probe the haters more it is often rooted back to their school days when they were forced to run round the school playing field 10 times in the pouring rain with gale force winds! Not fun and often humiliating.
Some people thing they just cannot run. They run for the bus and feel out of breath. That isn’t because they can’t run. It’s because they are unfit.
So, I’m going to try and persuade you to at least give it a try. Then you can at least say you tried it again and you still hate it. Humour me now please.
The Step by Step Guide to Running for Beginners
1. Map out a route that you are going to take. Either load up Google Maps, or if you have a smart phone download a free running app like Map My Run. Make sure you pick a route that is fairly short (even just round the block is fine) and as flat as can be. Let’s not get carried away with hills just yet.
2. Rope in a friend so that you can a) not feel embarrassed going on your own and b) be held accountable to (you can’t possibly let your friend down with weak excuses as to why you can’t run!) It is always nice to have a good old natter (when your lungs allow you!) with a friend. It helps the time pass by a lot quicker.
3. Grab a bottle of water to drink on the way. Make sure you stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to start drinking.
4. Time yourself. Either on your phone or a watch will do. It will help you in the early days to know how long to run for and what to aim for.
5. Walk on your first run. I know that doesn’t make any sense! If you are not used to walking very far then it is the best way to ease yourself in gently. Gradually start to add in a few 1 or 2 minute jogs. So you might start by walking for 5 minutes and then jog for 1 minute, walk for 5 minutes, jog for 1 minute. On your next running session you could walk for 5 minutes and then run for 2 minutes. Just see how you feel. Stop when you need to. Your early runs are all about building up stamina and getting your body muscles used to working in a different way. Eventually you will be able to run for 20 minutes straight!
6. Sign up for a 5k run. Ok, don’t panic now! This isn’t a race. Signing up for a 5k in say 6 months time is a great way to get yourself motivated to keep at it. The perfect run to do is either a Race for Life or Park Run. People of all shapes and sizes take part. Park Runs are free to enter and are all around the world.
See, not so bad eh? Just take things really slowly and listen to your body. I often hear of people getting ‘the running bug’ after they have completed 1 or 2 official runs.
Running is a great way to burn fat and calories. Just make sure you stick to the right nutrition plan, (unprocessed and as natural as possible is a good start) and you’ll start to feel fab really soon!
It is easy to put off getting fit and in shape because of cost, space, lack of equipment, no time. The list (or excuses!) go on. In this article we hope to eliminate some of those fears and blocks to help you on the road to getting fit.
The Cost of Working Out at Home
It is worth remembering that fitness doesn’t have to cost you any money. Sure you need to have some exercise shoes and some workout gear but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Don’t be swayed by buying the most expensive pair of trainers the shop assistant tries to sell you. Just make sure they have decent soles and that they fit you well. I buy half a size bigger than my normal shoe size to allow for my feet swelling through the heat of exercise.
So what can you do at home that doesn’t cost much money?
Running – For starters it is free! You can go at any time and you can really vary your workouts. From long jogs to hill sprints. If you are new to running start off slow with a 1 min walk, 1 min jog, 1 min walk etc and build yourself up to longer sections.
Skipping – You can buy a skipping rope for around £5. Skipping is a great way of keeping fit as it is very cardio intensive. You also work a lot of muscles making it an all round winner!
Fitness DVD – These are a great way to work out. They range in price from £5 all the way up to £100. You can just pop them on when you have a spare 20 minutes (some workouts are even shorter) and do a routine when you fancy.
Stairs – Do you have stairs where you live? Why not workout on them? Either run up them or workout on the bottom few steps.
Lack of Equipment
Don’t let this make you think that you can’t workout. A lot of fitness routines don’t even need any fancy equipment. If any mention that you need weights then just substitute them with a bag of sugar or tin of baked beans. If you really think you do need equipment then check out second hand shops, eBay, Gumtree or ask friends and family if you can borrow any of theirs.
Ah, that old chestnut! Yes I get that most of us are busy, I really do. We live hectic lives and there never seems to be a moment to spare. The thing is, I bet you can find 20 minutes in your day to squeeze in a workout. Here are a few tips;
a) Get up 20 minutes earlier
b) Miss 20 minutes of TV each day (go on, you’ll not miss much!)
c) Use your lunch hour – instead of checking out the shops or eating at your desk spend half of it going for a jog or a cycle
d) Do you drive or catch the bus to work? Or even the train? Park up or get off a stop early and walk/jog the rest of the way. Or if you don’t live that far away why not build up to walking/jogging/cycling all the way? Just thing of the money you’ll save too!
Just simple little changes in your routine, although they may seem small, will really help you in the long run to get in shape, lose weight and feel great about yourself.
I know it is easy to trick yourself into thinking you can’t workout – I’ve been there and done that. I always had an excuse for everything. The thing is, your body deserves your time and attention, you’ll thank yourself for it one day!